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Ice-flow properties within a polar ice sheet are examined using the comprehensive data gathered from ice-core drilling by Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) at Dome Summit South (DSS), on Law Dome, East Antarctica. Using the shear strain rates derived from borehole inclination measurements we demonstrate the need to modify the ice-flow relations to treat enhanced shear deformation deep within the ice sheet. We show that the relation between enhanced flow and the measured crystallographic properties is generally in accord with expectations, at least in the upper parts of the ice sheet, but it becomes clear that nearer to the bedrock the situation is more complicated. We also compare the observed shear strain-rate profile with results from a model that describes flow enhancement as a function of the applied stresses.
Ice-sheet basal ice is warmer than that above because of the heat from the Earth’s interior. The stresses acting on the basal ice are greatest. In addition, the basal ice often contains debris consisting of silt and small stones picked up from the rock over which the ice flows. Because the base is the warmest part of an ice sheet and the stress there is greatest, flow rates in the basal ice are large and often contribute most of the ice movement. It is therefore important, for accurate modelling of the ice sheets, to know whether the debris within the basal ice enhances or retards the flow of the ice. In this paper, we describe laboratory deformation tests in uniaxial compression and in simple shear, on sand-laden ice. We find no significant dependence of flow rate on sand content (up to 15% volume) in the stress range 0.13–0.5 MPa and temperature range –0.02 to –18.0°C. Further work needs to include laboratory tests on debris-laden ice extracted from the polar ice sheets. This work is underway.
Statistical analyses are carried out, of the annual mean surface air temperature at occupied stations and automatic weather stations in the Antarctic and Southern and Pacific Oceans. The data are studied in four groupings: coastal Antarctica (excluding the Antarctic Peninsula), inland Antarctica, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Southern Ocean/Pacific Ocean islands. We find that within each of these four groupings the average trend indicates warming. For coastal Antarctica the trend is ∼0.8°C(100 a)–1. Inland, the results are less clear, but the mean trend is to a warming of ∼1.0°C(100 a)–1. For the Peninsula stations it is ∼4.4°C(100 a)–1, and for the ocean stations the average trend is ∼0.8°C(100 a)–1. The results indicate a reduction in the warming trend since our last analysis 6 years ago. While the Pinatubo (Philippines) volcanic eruption may have had some influence on this reduction in the warming rate, examination of the interannual variations in the temperature record shows variability has continued high since the recovery from any such effect. There has been a further period of cooler temperatures in coastal and inland Antarctica in that time, yet a warmer period in the Peninsula and ocean islands.
The northwestern sector of the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, has a layered structure, due to the presence of both meteoric ice and a marine ice layer resulting from sub-shelf freezing processes. Crystal orientation fabric and grain-size data are presented for ice cores obtained from two boreholes ˜70 km apart on approximately the same flowline. Multiple-maxima crystal orientation fabrics and large mean grain sizes in the meteoric ice are indicative of stress relaxation and subsequent grain growth in ice that has flowed into the Amery Ice Shelf. Strongly anisotropic single-maximum crystal orientation fabrics and rectangular textures near the base of the ˜200 m thick marine ice layer suggest accretion occurs by the accumulation of frazil ice platelets. Crystal orientation fabrics in older marine ice exhibit vertical large circle girdle patterns, influenced by the complex stress configurations that exist towards the margins of the ice shelf. Post-accumulation grain growth and fabric development in the marine ice layer are restricted by a high concentration of brine and insoluble particulate inclusions. Differences in the meteoric and marine ice crystallography are indicative of the contrasting rheological properties of these layers, which must be considered in relation to large-scale ice-shelf dynamics.
Laboratory creep deformation experiments have been conducted on initially isotropic laboratory-made samples of polycrystalline ice. Steady-state tertiary creep rates, , were determined at strains exceeding 10% in either uniaxial-compression or simple-shear experiments. Isotropic minimum strain rates, , determined at ˜1 % strain, provide a reference for comparing the relative magnitude of tertiary creep rates in shear and compression through the use of strain-rate enhancement factors, E, defined as the ratio of corresponding tertiary and isotropic minimum creep rates, i.e. . The magnitude of strain-rate enhancement in simple shear was found to exceed that in uniaxial compression by a constant factor of 2.3. Results of experiments conducted at octahedral shear stresses of to = 0.040.80 MPa indicate a creep power-law stress exponent of n = 3 for isotropic minimum creep rates and n = 3.5 for tertiary creep rates. The difference in stress exponents for minimum and tertiary creep regimes can be interpreted as a t0 stress-dependent level of strain-rate enhancement, i.e. .The implications of these results for deformation in complex multicomponent stress configurations and at stresses below those used in the current experiments are discussed.
The generalized (Glen) flow relation for ice, involving the second invariants of the stress deviator and strain-rate tensors, is only expected to hold for isotropic polycrystalline ice. Previous single-stress experiments have shown that for the steady-state flow, which develops at large strains, the tertiary strain rate is greater than the minimum (secondary creep) value by an enhancement factor which is larger for shear than compression. Previous experiments combining shear with compression normal to the shear plane have shown that enhancement of the tertiary octahedral strain rate increases monotonically from compression alone to shear alone. Additional experiments and analyses presented here were conducted to further investigate how the separate tertiary shear and compression strain-rate components are related in combined stress situations. It is found that tertiary compression rates are more strongly influenced by the addition of shear than is given by a Glen-type flow relation, whereas shear is less influenced by additional compression. A scalar function formulation of the flow relation is proposed, which fits the tertiary creep data well and is readily adapted to a generalized form that can be extended to other stress configurations and applied in ice mass modelling.
In this study we compare the anisotropic flow relations for polycrystalline ice of Azuma and Goto-Azuma (1996), Thorsteinsson (2002), Placidi and others (2010) and Budd and others (2013). Observations from the Dome Summit South (DSS) ice-coring site at Law Dome, East Antarctica, are used to model the vertical distribution of deviatoric stress components at the borehole site. The flow relations in which the anisotropic rheology is parameterized by a scalar function, so that the strain-rate and deviatoric stress tensor components are collinear, provide simple shear and vertical compression deviatoric stress profiles that are most consistent with laboratory observations of tertiary creep in combined stress configurations. Those flow relations where (1) the anisotropy is derived from the magnitude of applied stresses resolved onto the basal planes of individual grains and (2) the macroscopic deformation is obtained via homogenization of individual grain responses provide stress estimates less consistent with laboratory observations. This is most evident in combined simple shear and vertical compression flow regimes where shear is dominant. Our results highlight the difficulties associated with developing flow relations which incorporate a physically based description of microdeformation processes. In particular, this requires that all relevant microdeformation, recrystallization and recovery processes are adequately parameterized.
Using a three-dimensional ocean model specially adapted to the ocean cavity under the Amery Ice Shelf, we investigated the present ocean circulation and pattern of ice-shelf basal melting and freezing, the differences which would result from temperature changes in the seas adjacent to the Amery Ice Shelf, and the ramifications of these changes for the mass balance of the ice shelf. Under present conditions we estimate the net loss from the Amery Ice Shelf from excess basal melting over freezing at approximately 7.8 Gt a−1. This comprises a gross loss of 11.4 Gt a−1 at a mean rate of 0.42 m a−1, which is partially offset by freezing-on of 3.6 Gt a−1, at a mean rate of 0.19 m a−1. When the adjacent seas were assumed to warm by 1°C, we found the net melt increased to 31.6 Gt a−1, comprising 34.6 Gt a−1 of gross melt and 3.0 Gt a−1 of freezing.
The response of the Antarctic ice sheet to climate change over the next 500
years is calculated using the output of a transient-coupled ocean-atmosphere
simulation assuming the atmospheric CO2 value increases up to
three times present levels. The main effects on the ice sheet on this
time-scale include increasing rates of accumulation, minimal surface
melting, and basal melting of ice shelves. A semi-Lagrangian transport
scheme for moisture was used to improve the model’s ability to represent
realistic rates of accumulation under present-day conditions, and thereby
increase confidence in the anomalies calculated under a warmer climate. The
response of the Antarctic ice sheet to the warming is increased accumulation
inland, offset by loss from basal melting from the floating ice, and
increased ice flow near the grounding line. The preliminary results of this
study show that the change to the ice-sheet balance for the
transient-coupled model forcing amounted to a minimal sea-level contribution
in the next century, but a net positive sea-level rise of 0.21 m by 500
years. This new result supercedes earlier results that showed the Antarctic
ice sheet made a net negative contribution to sea-level rise over the next
century. However, the amplitude of the sea-level rise is still dominated In
the much larger contributions expected from thermal expansion of the ocean
of 0.25 m for 100 years and 1.00 m for 500 years.
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